Heart Disease

Heart Disease is the Number One Killer of Women – Take Action Now to Avoid Being a Statistic!

Many people consider heart disease to be a predominantly male-oriented condition. However, heart disease is the number one killer in women and affects one out of every three in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Heart disease occurs when fatty build-up in your coronary arteries, called plaque, prevents blood flow that’s needed to provide oxygen to your heart.  When the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced, or completely cut off, a heart attack occurs.

“The scary thing is that heart attacks in females are more likely to be fatal than in men,” explains Farheen Shirazi, Cardiologist at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Johns Creek. “Far too often, women ignore the warning signs of a heart attack and do not seek immediate medical attention. As time elapses, the muscles of the heart weaken, causing severe or life-threatening damage.”

Thankfully the awareness about heart disease continues to be on the rise. “The most important weapon against heart disease is awareness. Women need to research their family history and take time to educate themselves on not only the risk factors and symptoms of heart disease, but preventive medicine as well.”

How can you educate yourself? Join Dr. Shirazi on Tuesday, April 9 for an online web chat on women and heart disease. She will be available to answer your questions such as: what women can do to prevent heart disease, the importance of getting treatment right away and the research underway to combat heart disease in women.


 About Dr. Farheen Shirazi

Farheen Shirazi, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and a cardiologist at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center.  She specializes in preventive cardiology and heart disease in women.  Dr. Shirazi completed medical school at Morehouse School of Medicine, her Internship at New York University School of Medicine, her residency at Stanford Hospital and her Fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine.  Dr. Shirazi has been practicing at Emory since 2012 and primarily sees patients at Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Emory Johns Creek Hospital and Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Cumming She is passionate about educating women about how to prevent heart disease.

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New Research Shows Calcium Supplements May Be Dangerous to a Man’s Heart

Calcium Supplements Man Heart Disease StrokeA recent study by the National Cancer Institute and other researchers showed that men who consumed more than 1,000 mg of calcium a day experienced a higher risk of death from heart disease and stroke after the 12 year study period.

Emory Healthcare and Saint Joseph’s Hospital cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD providers her recommendations to her patients about calcium supplements. She recommends that her patients eat foods high in calcium such as skim milk and Greek yogurt and avoid the supplements.

Read the full USA Today article to find out more recommendations about how to protect your heart in the most appropriate ways.

Happy Valentine’s Day: Hope For the Broken Hearted

Heartbreak, heartache, and heart broken are not words you would typically associate with the day of love (Valentine’s Day)…Or are they?

When February rolls around each year, we’re bombarded with messages and sentiments of love.  Couples, families and friends begin to plan for Valentine’s Day, the day of love and dinner reservations are made, gifts are purchased, cards are written, and for those that are really lucky, the decadence of chocolate awaits. For some of us though, Valentine’s Day can be difficult if that special someone is no longer around. The overwhelming symbolism of love may cause them to reminisce and feel a deep pain. We know this pain, usually felt in the heart, as a broken heart, but in the medical world this condition (yes, it’s a real medical condition) is known as acute stress cardiomyopathy.

Acute stress cardiomyopathy or “broken heart syndrome” is a relatively temporary heart condition brought on by stressful situations, such as a death of a loved one, or the complete shock of an unexpected break up. The syndrome can lead to congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and potentially life-threatening heart rhythm abnormalities.

It’s been reported that patients, mostly women, have gone to the emergency room due to classic heart attack symptoms caused by the shock,but when doctors performed diagnostic tests, such as an electrocardiogram, the results tended to look very different from regular heart attack EKGs. Furthermore, subsequent tests showed that the heart tissue was not damaged at all.

Luckily, the symptoms of broken heart syndrome are treatable and the condition usually reverses itself in a matter of time. So if you’ve lost a love one or experienced a break up recently, although Valentine’s Day may be more difficult than most days, fear not–the once a year holiday and the detriment of loneliness will pass. Perhaps take the holiday as an opportunity to do something healthy for yourself. Relax, or knock a few things off your to-do list, try out a new recipe or craft, or even use the holiday as an opportunity to remind a friend how much they mean to you.

Tell us, have you ever experienced the broken heart syndrome? If so, how’d you get through it?

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Two Emory Physicians Honored with National Red Dress Award!

Dr. Leslee ShawDr. Sanjay GuptaWoman’s Day magazine is honoring Leslee Shaw, PhD, and Sanjay Gupta, MD, with two of its four Red Dress Awards for 2013. The award honors those who have made significant contributions in the fight against heart disease among women.

Dr. Shaw and Dr. Gupta join the ranks of other distinguished Red Dress award recipients including United States Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, renowned journalist Barbara Walters and Elizabeth Nabel, MD, former head of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Dr. Shaw is a professor of medicine at Emory School of Medicine and co-directs the Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute. She currently serves on the Cardiovascular Imaging Committee for the American Heart Association and is on the Board of Directors for the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. She is a past-president of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

Dr. Shaw Red Dress AwardHer areas of interest and expertise include test accuracy, risk assessment, prognosis and cost efficiency—with a particular emphasis on the role of how diagnostic tests work differently to assess heart disease risk in various ethnic groups and in women versus men.

Dr. Gupta is CNN’s chief medical correspondent and is an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory School of Medicine and associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital. He is a practicing neurosurgeon at Emory University and Grady hospitals.

Gupta’s medical training and public health policy experience distinguish his reporting on a range of medical and scientific topics including brain injury, disaster recovery, health care reform, fitness, military medicine, HIV/AIDS and other areas.

The prestigious award will be presented on February 12 at Lincoln Center in New York City. To learn more about this award visit Red Dress Awards 2013 – Woman’s Day.

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Whip your heart in shape at the Emory Heartwise Bootcamp!

Heart Month Events AtlantaCelebrate Heart Month by attending the Emory HeartWiseSM Prevention Bootcamp! This exciting event focuses on educating consumers about how to manage/lower risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke. Over the course of the full-day program, there will be breakout sessions on nutrition, cooking demonstrations, women and heart disease, foot care, yoga, stretching, healthy weight loss and starting an exercise program. Physicians and health care providers from across Emory Healthcare will be hosting the lectures in this informative session!

HeartWise Heart Disease Prevention Bootcamp Event Details:

Date: Saturday, February, 9, 2013
Time: 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. with continental breakfast
Where: Emory Conference Center Hotel
1615 Clifton Road Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30322
Cost: $25 – this fee covers the cost of the educational program, handouts, parking, breakfast and lunch.

For more information or to register please call Emory HealthConnection to register – 404-778-7777 or register online!

This program was made possible from an educational grant from Georgia Power.

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Attend a HeartWise Heart Disease Prevention Event in December!

December Heart Healthy EventsEmory Healthcare’s HeartWise℠ Risk Reduction Program Lecture Series aims to reduce the Atlanta community’s risk for heart disease through educational and interactive events. In addition to serving patients who currently suffer from heart disease, we also provide help to individuals who could be at risk for heart complications in the future including those who smoke, do not exercise or have high blood pressure.

You can register for any of our December HeartWise events online!

♥ New Year Goal Setting
Cheryl Williams, RD/LD
Monday, December 10, 12pm – 12:30pm and
Thursday, December 13, 8:30am – 9:00am

♥ WomenHeart of Atlanta: Support Group
Monday, December 17, 12pm – 1pm

♥ Losing Weight by Eating Right
Dr. Michael Cantor
Wednesday, December 19, 11:30am – 12pm

♥ Do you Know Your Medications?
Thursday, December 27, 8:30am – 9:00am and 12pm – 12:30pm

Admission is free and everyone is welcome! Call 404-778-2850 to reserve your seat, or you can register for a HeartWise event online!

*If you would like to purchase a t-shirt or calendar where the proceeds go to the HeartWise scholarship fund which allows patients who run into financial challenges continue the wellness and prevention please call 404-778-2850
emoryhealthcare.org/heart

Join us for a HeartWise Heart Disease Prevention Event in October!

October Heart Disease Prevention Events

The HeartWiseSM Risk Reduction Program Lecture Series aims to reduce people’s risk of heart disease through education and interaction. In addition to serving patients who currently suffer from heart disease, we also provide help to individuals who could be at risk for heart complications in the future including those who smoke, do not exercise or have high blood pressure.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome! Call 404-778-2850 to reserve your seat, or you can sign up for a HeartWise lecture online.

Fats:  The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Cheryl Williams, RD/LD
Thursday, October  4, 2012
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Chocolate 4 the Heart
Cheryl Williams, RD/LD
Monday, October 15th 2012
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

Healthy Eating Made Easy
Cheryl Williams, RD/LD
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

WomenHeart of Atlanta Support Group
Monday, October 29, 2012
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM

Osteoarthritis of the Hip & Knee: Prevention & Exercise
Dr. Jacob Lee MD
Friday, October 26th
11:45 AM -12:15 PM

Admission to HeartWise events is free and everyone is welcome! Call 404-778-2850 to reserve your seat, or you can sign up for one of our October HeartWise lectures online!

Atlanta Man Narrowly Avoids Heart Attack – Do You Know When to Go?

Know When to Go to the E.R.Saint Joseph’s Hospital patient and triathlete, Joe Michalak, narrowly missed a heart attack by listening to the risk factors of heart disease. On Father’s Day weekend, he felt some tweaks in his chest and instead of ignorning his symptoms, he went to the hospital right away. Luckily, Joe listened to his body. In hindsight, he had a 95 percentage blockage in his left anterior artery and 80 percent blockage in another one.

Learn more about Joe’s symptoms and what prompted him to make a trip to his local E.R. at Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

What Kind of Shape Your Heart Is In?

Do you know what kind of shape your heart is in? Knowing the risk factors for heart disease and your level of risk can help you  act to reduce your heart disease risk level by as much as 80%.

Watch this Fox 5 Interview with Emory Heart & Vascular Center cardiologist, Dr. Laurence Sperling as he gives you tips on how to make sure you keep your heart in top shape.

Your Heart and the Heat

heart-stethoscopeSummer is finally here! Blossoming flowers, chirping birds and clear skies make the summer a sense captivator. With the abundance of renewed energy it brings us, we might take on new challenges of outdoor exploration, or seek outlets for community bonding with the help of festivals, cook outs and reunions. With so many new and exciting activities awaiting us in the summer months, we often forget that with the gorgeous summer days come hot and often humid temperatures.

Most people are familiar with the typical summer health prevention methods of sunscreen protection for the skin, hydration for the body and repellant for our pesky outdoor neighbors— bugs. But, what about the specific needs of our heart during summer months?

As the body tries to cope with changing temperatures, summer can put extra strain on the heart. Most healthy people can tolerate these changes without missing a beat, but these changes can be especially hard for people with heart failure (or those at risk for heart failure), in the hot and humid climate.

The American Heart Association provides some great tips that everyone can use to guide their heart health precaution in the heat:

•    Get off on the right foot. You probably sweat the most in your shoes, so choose well-ventilated shoes and look for socks that repel perspiration. Foot powders and antiperspirants can also help with sweat.

•    Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a newer fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat and/or sunglasses.

•    Drink up. Before you get started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours. Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

•    Take regular breaks. Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again.

If you or someone you know is experiencing the following symptoms, consult with your physician immediately.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke
•    warm, dry skin with no sweating
•    strong and rapid pulse
•    confusion and/or unconsciousness
•    high fever
•    throbbing headaches
•    nausea, vomiting or both

For more information about how to protect your heart from the heat, visit the American Heart Association website, today.

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